Valtteri Bottas: “I think it was a strong qualifying”

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Valtteri Bottas qualified in P2 for the Styrian Grand Prix, but due to a three place grid penalty he will start the race from P5. The Finn gives his thoughts.

Although Red Bull once again snatched pole at the Styrian Grand Prix Qualifying, Valtteri Bottas is confident Mercedes will be able to compete on Sunday.

“It’s a new day tomorrow, long race ahead and anything is possible,” the Finn told Sky Sports F1 after the session.

When asked if he could attack Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, he said: “Yes, definitely”.

“I think it was a strong qualifying. If I look at Practice 2 and Practice 3 I still struggled a bit, but with the set-up we’re on the right direction.

“It was a lot better feeling, really felt good in the car and felt like I got the most out of the car. Just the first run in Q3 I had traffic with [Yuki] Tsunoda, so I lost a couple of tenths there, so, I don’t know, maybe there was a bit more to come.”

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Bottas also explains Mercedes’ choice to go into the race on medium tyres.

“We knew I’m going to have the penalty, so we thought, ‘Okay medium [tyre] should be the best option’, so we used two mediums in Q2 to try and start the race with the medium.”

And speaking of the penalty, the Finn thinks it was “quite harsh”.

“My personal view is [the penalty is] quite harsh.

“I never imagined after that there would be a penalty but of course other teams, when they see the opportunity, they complain that is dangerous, etc., so that we would get penalised.

“That’s how it goes – everyone is always trying to screw you over in this sport,” concluded Bottas.

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